Why Meditating Will Help You Learn How To Code.

You don’t think you’re in Oz anymore. But if your teachers in Kansas look this much like the ones you had back in Oz, how different can it really be?

You’ve been meditating for a little while now, long enough to know it’s not exactly what you’d thought it was at first.

And that’s an awesome thing. Your disillusionment has given you a tool you can use to immediately improve your coding practice. Even if you haven’t started practicing yet.

Here’s why:

Meditate on a regular basis, and you learn that thoughts can be a mixed bag.

Sometimes they illuminate the path to a deeper understanding than you would have found if they’d never popped up. Occasionally they keep popping up over and over, no matter what you try to do to make them go away. Once in a while, a really ugly and persistent one may test the limits of your sanity and resolve.

And if you’re a total novice at meditation, you probably don’t like encountering them at all. Because every time you do, even if only for an instant, it feels like you screwed something up.

But you fight that feeling, don’t you? You fight it as hard as you can. Because you’ve still got lots to learn, but you’ve been at this thing long enough to recognize that the first thing the world tried to teach you about it was a flat-out lie.

“Sit in a quiet place, all by yourself,” said the world, “and meditate with perfect laser focus until your mind is totally free of thoughts, even as it grows in real time. If you can’t figure out how to do that, you will never be truly enlightened, and you might want to consider quitting your practice altogether, because you might not be the meditating type.”

You know better than that, even now, as a beginner. You understand that working with your mind at this point in your long journey means spending most of your time dealing with thoughts. When something pops up, you pause to acknowledge and address it, and then get back to what you were doing.

And you pity the poor meditator who still thinks a session free of thoughts is even desirable, let alone a sign of mastery. After all, you were once right there with them.

But eventually, your experience taught you that you’d been chasing a false idol.

Because the goal that matters has nothing to do with avoiding the thoughts. Real growth has never been about that. It’s always been about seeing those hiccups in your flow as the gifts that they are.

You already know this. You open these gifts all the time as you sit down with your miraculous machine and try to understand it better. Each break in your groove is a chance to practice getting back on task without missing a beat. Without beating yourself up in the process. Without trying to beat the process.

If you can learn how to do that, you can learn how to do anything. Not just mind stuff.

But that’s a lot of meditation preamble for a guide on how to improve your coding practice. Let’s move on.

Wait. We’re already done.

Click those heels, Dorothy.

Scarecrow from original Wizard of Oz film with arms crossed.

“It’s pleasant down that way, too… Of course, some people do go both ways.”

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